Indigenous Rights

Indigenous Rights and Traditions

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizes and protects certain rights of Indigenous people of Canada,

  • Treaty Rights - Treaty rights are rights specified in an agreement between government and Indigenous people. Treaties define the rights of Indigenous people with respect to lands and resources in a specified area. They include the right to exclusive use and occupation of certain lands and the right to hunt and fish in traditional territory. For more information on treaty rights, please see Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
  • Indigenous Rights – Indigenous rights include practices, traditions, ceremonies or customs distinct to an Indigenous community.

Indigenous Culture and Traditions

Indigenous customs and traditions have influenced the development of new ways of dealing with offenders in the criminal justice system. Using methods like peacemaking and healing circles, traditional Indigenous justice focuses on the responsibility of the offender and healing the community, instead of punishment and removal of the offender from society.  This approach underlies the development of restorative justice, which has become an important part of the criminal justice system.

For more information about Indigenous sentencing, please visit Justice Education Society.